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Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration (CCST)

Director: Professor James F. Fisher

Visiting Instructor: Tal Fishman

Lecturer: Petra Crosby

Committee Members: Petra Crosby, Michael Hemesath, Roger R. Jackson, Alfred P. Montero, Éva Pósfay, Kathryn Sparling, Qiguang Zhao

The Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration objectives are: 1) to bring together American and international students in a program of study and interaction that will prepare them to live and work productively in a culture different from their own; 2) to provide a forum for studying problems and issues, such as pollution, disease, and human rights, that cut across traditional national or cultural boundaries and that tend to be excluded in traditional disciplines or area studies; 3) to enable students to come to a sharper understanding of their own and their academic focus culture by making comparisons explicit; 4) to create an arena for faculty whose work focuses on different parts of the world to address common issues and problems in a comparative, collaborative framework.

Requirements for the Concentration:

Language is fundamental to understanding other societies and it is therefore fundamental to the concentration. Each concentrator will fulfill the Carleton language requirement in the language of the focus area, or will study in a language-intensive program in the focus area. Upper level language study is encouraged.

Concentrators will select a nation or region of the world on which to focus their cultural and linguistic study. This area will then be examined from three out of the following four perspectives:

In binary comparison with another culture

In regional perspective (i.e., beyond national borders)

In relation to global issues

Relating to ethnic diversity and diaspora

Core courses:

CCST 100: Growing Up Cross-Culturally (recommended but not required)

CCST 275: I’m a Stranger Here Myself

CCST 395: Capstone Seminar


Four courses from a least three of the four comparative categories listed above, to be selected from the list of pertinent courses available on the department web-site. Students who have participated in the first-year seminar, Growing Up Cross-Culturally, are required to take only three additional courses from any three categories.

American students will also participate in an approved international program (one or more terms), in an area where a language related to their focus is spoken. International students are exempt from this requirement since Carleton is an off-campus experience for them, but they are also encouraged to go off campus.

Cross-Cultural Studies Courses

CCST 100. Growing Up Cross-Culturally First-year students interested in this program should enroll in this seminar. The course is recommended but not required for the concentration and it will count as one of the electives. From cradle to grave, cultural assumptions shape our own sense of who we are. This course is designed to enable American and international students to compare how their own and other societies view birth, infancy, adolescence, marriage, adulthood, and old age. Using children's books, child-rearing manuals, movies, and ethnographies, we will explore some of the assumptions in different parts of the globe about what it means to "grow up." 6 cr., S/CR/NC, ND, RAD, FallN. Bilik, C. Clark, T. Fishman, S. Leonhard, A. Pattanayak

CCST 275. I'm A Stranger Here Myself Designed for students who are returning from off-campus studies or who have lived abroad, and for anyone who has had the experience of being an outsider, this course will explore theories and models of intercultural competence and intercultural transition. Using the actual experience of the students in class as its evidence, it will first develop theories about the nature of intercultural contact and then test their usefulness by applying them to the analysis of specific historical and literary evidence. 6 cr., ND, RAD, WinterS. Leonhard

CCST 395. Cross-Cultural Studies Capstone Seminar The first half of the course will deal with topics such as critique of the culture concept, cross-cultural comparison, orientalism and occidentalism, globalization and globalism, translation and transnationalism. The last part of the course will focus on the final assignment: a research paper of 15-20 pages, drawing on the entire experience of the concentration and, usually but not necessarily, the major. 6 cr., ND, SpringJ. Fisher

Pertinent courses are available in a wide range of disciplines, including: Art History, Economics, History, Music, Area Studies, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology and Anthropology. For questions about particular courses, please check the department Web site or contact the director.